Saturday, December 11, 2010

Merrimack Downed by Lowell at Tsongas Center, 66-60

LOWELL, Mass.- In the second-ever basketball game held at the Tsongas Center, the Merrimack women’s basketball team suffered a 66-60 loss to UMass Lowell in the final game of the Holiday Hoop Slam. The Warriors sink to 3-4 overall and 2-3 in the Northeast-10 Conference. The River Hawks run their record to 4-5 on the season and 3-3 in league action.

Merrimack was paced by Genn Roy (Granby, Mass.) with 17 points and six steals while Kelly Schatzlein (Tolland, Conn.) registered her first double-double of the season with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Taneka Brown (Lynn, Mass.) was the only other Warrior in double-digits with 11 points on the night.

Merrimack opened up a six-point lead 15-9 after a three-pointer by Roy. Lowell answered with a trey of its own to close the gap to 15-12.

A pair of good free throws by Colon gave the Warriors a 22-20 edge with 3:30 left to play in the first stanza. The host team replied with two points of their own from the charity stripe to knot the score at 22-22.

Merrimack trailed by three points at the intermission, 27-24. Schatzlein led all scorers at halftime with eight points. Tiffany Colon (Lawrence, Mass.) added seven points through the first 20 minutes.

The Warriors came out of the break firing on all cylinders. Merrimack seized the lead and pieced together a 7-0 run to take a 31-27 advantage after two minutes.

The two sides battled through a closely contested second half. Neither team was able to gain a sizeable lead. With 9:36 remaining in regulation, Lowell held onto a 46-42 lead.

Merrimack tied the score at 48-48 with seven minutes left to play on a lay-up by Taneka Brown. Colon gave the Warriors their first lead since the opening moments of the second frame with a lay-in, 50-48.

The Warriors faced a three-point deficit with 1:10 on the clock. The River Hawks drained a basket to push their lead to five. The home team converted four free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.

Merrimack shot 32% from the field in the game while Lowell hit on 35% of its field goal attempts. The River Hawks pulled down 51 rebounds while the Warriors managed to grab 38 boards in the game.

The Warriors will return to action after the calendar turns to 2011. Merrimack takes on 21-day hiatus from play and hits the hardwood January 2 to host Saint Anselm.

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